Does Biden need to toughen up?
Republican Senator Bill Hagerty of Tennessee criticized President Joe Biden for his response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale attack on Ukraine that has been deadly. He stressed that Biden must exercise “resolve” and step up his assistance for Ukraine.
Hagerty made his remarks at the Conservative Political Action Committee, stating that Putin would only respond to “people that show a spine” and those who stand up to Putin, something he said the U.S. wasn’t doing under Biden.
The Tennessee Republican said that he believed nothing would be as “potent to stopping the advance” of Ukraine as people who “show a spine” to which he pointed to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy as an example.
Hagerty also shared his opinion that the way the U.S. got to this point was “very regrettable,” sharing his beliefs that weakness after the botched Afghanistan withdrawal had led Putin to take an opportunity and exploit weakness.
He also lambasted the U.S. for being “short-sighted” with its stance on green energy that “killed the oil and gas industry,” driving up oil and gas prices around the world. Hagerty blamed this stance for benefiting Vladimir Putin, stating that the Russian President was “using those funds to build his war machine that he is deploying on Ukraine.”
Acknowledging that the situation is sad, the Senator said that now the focus should be on “supporting Ukraine and fighting back.”
When asked about how he thought the world saw the U.S. response to Russia’s attacks, Hagerty was adamant that “The whole world is looking at how Putin can negotiate this, and what he’s able to get away with,” before adding that “We have authoritarians around the world, and they take this, and they see it as an opportunity because, again, lack of resolve.”
As a way to take “air out of the sails of Vladimir Putin,” Hagerty suggested the best way forward was to “re-open the Keystone XL Pipeline, start drilling again in America, make ourselves energy independent [and] lower the price of global energy.”